For a lot of people, the prospect of finding a date or a mate via the Internet can be filled with extreme trepidation. Fear of unknowns and preconceived negative notions often results in procrastination or permanent disillusionment. Are Internet â€œsingles sitesâ€ filled with mostly losers and liars? Should Christian singles avoid looking for love on the Internet?
For Elder Perry Broadnax and Coretta Wright, the Internet proved to be the path to wedded bliss. The pair met and married! And it all started when they met at Match.com. Over the course of two years, they communicated first by email, then by phone and finally met face-to-face and finally tied the knot! (He lived in Nashville, TN and she resided in Birmingham, AL).
While both agree that the Internet is just a â€œtoolâ€ and not â€œthe answerâ€, both are quick to confirm that when you seek â€œGod\’s willâ€, the Internet can be the â€œway.â€
What made you think about connecting for â€œloveâ€ on the internet?
Perry: I lead a very busy and demanding professional life. Outside of the work environment, I have very little (or no) time to devote to meeting people.
Coretta: I have a very full life and wanted to meet a like- minded man. I was ready to merge my life with someone; I knew it would not be easy but I was open to receiving what God had for me.
What were some of your reservations about moving into a relationship via online?
Coretta: The â€œWhat ifsâ€â€”â€œWhat if he doesn\’t look like his picture?â€ â€œWhat if he is lying?â€ â€œWhat if he has a hidden agenda?â€ Then, it occurred to me that he too, could have the same â€œWhat ifs.â€ And, I knew my intentions were earnest and true; â€œSo why not his?â€ I looked to see if things lined up. â€œDid his actions reflect his words and heart?â€
Perry: Honestly, I don\’t know that I had any reservations. I knew what I wanted and was very purposeful in pursuing it. Let me also say, one cannot have an â€˜Online\’ relationship! The Internet is only the resource that enables two people to connect. Once the connection is established, it is up to the individuals to develop the relationship.
How did the conversation go from casual to serious?
Coretta: After spending many hours on the phone, before meeting, I felt like we knew each other well. So, when we met for the first time (he looked better than his picture!) we talked about how we wanted the relationship to proceed. We had a very long first date; this provided a lot of time to talk and get to know each other. On our second date, I went to visit him and it was then that I knew we had the same desires.
Perry: For me it was never casual; it was purposeful. That is not to say that all our conversations were always rigid and heavy. What I am saying is, I was not just talking to her just to be talking. If what we were doing was not ultimately go- ing to result in us ending up at the altar, it was a waste of time. So, all my conversations were aimed at getting to know her in order to determine if she would be â€œthe one!â€
As a Christian adult, it is imperative that before you begin a relationship, utilize any resource like the Internet, or even meet someone in the mall; you should seek God\’s direction and guidance! This is the most important thing! Tell God (I mean, really tell God) what you want and what is the true desire of your heart. Wait for Him to give you the impetus to move. It\’s all about â€˜His timing\’! Once He gives you the â€˜go ahead,\’ then you can begin to look.
I might also say, one must know exactly what one wants because when the waters are troubled, there will be several possible candidates. The only way to distinguish between them and â€˜the one\’ is to be diligent in knowing what you want and not settling for anything less. â€”Rev. Perry Broadnax
How did you date (long distance) and make the relationship grow?
Perry: Long distance relationships can be challenging. I don\’t recommend it at all to anyone that is merely interested in â€œdating.â€ Find someone local! Seriously, once we estab- lished the necessary foundation of truth and trust; did the background checks and established compatibility, we were able to schedule our times of being together. The upside of long distance relationships is that it establishes a premium on quality time as opposed to quantity of time.
Coretta: Long distance relationships are hard and have to be more intentional. When we do spend time together it is quality time. We communicated in various ways several times a day. For example, we used webcams which allowed us to see each other more. Having a long-distance relationship has its advantages; it provides more time to gradually transition into couple-hood and builds an immeasurable amount of trust and confidence in that person.
What advice do you have for singles who want to meet someone and to potentially marry?
Perry: Please seek God\’s guidance and wait for His direc- tion! Know yourself! Know what you want and refuse to settle for less!
Coretta: Seek God\’s direction. Don\’t rush marriage! If you can\’t see yourself being honored to have his last name, let him know and move on